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Developer Profile - Dave Killingsworth

This interview with Dave Killingsworth was conducted on 4/6/05. Dave & his programming partner Dan Gale are the co-authors of the original and arguably most popular VGA Planets add-on's available. RacePlus, Starbase+, Asteroid, Tachyon to name a few.

Dave also co-authored the Lurkers / Stormfront add-on with Cliff McKeithan. All of these great mod's are available online at Dan & Dave Software.

Tell us a little about yourself, what have you accomplished in life?

I currently work at Denver Childrens Hospital as a technical support analyst. Before that I worked for the department of defense at the Pentagon in Washington DC. I am married to a wonderful wife, own a home in Colorado and have 2 cats and 2 dogs.

What are your favorite computer/board games and how have they affected the development of your mod's?

I love Baldur's Gate and Sanitarium. I love Shadowrun RPG. I just think the development of the modifications came from my love of Science Fiction and wanting to see things added to VGAP

What's your favorite Planets memory?

The writing and release of the VGAP manual. I was very proud of the manual and the user guides that I developed for tim. I am also very proud of the VGAP mouse pad (high quality and pretty). I am also very proud and happy that 10 years after their release the Dan and Dave add-ons are still popular and selling.

What specifically inspired you? What were the biggest influences?

I have been a huge Science Fiction fan for all my life. I loved the Babylon 5 television so a lot and it was a huge inspiration for many of the add-ons.

Were there things that you wished you had added to Starbase+, RacePlus …etc…?

Dan and I felt that the add-ons were very complete in the form that they are in. We crammed as much as we could into the add-ons. The only thing that I wished we could have done was had dan provide some input into the Lurkers and Stormfront projects.

What are your most important accomplishments to VGAP and why?

Writing the manuals and developing the very first add-ons. I am also very proud that I helped tim design and implement the battle sequencer for WinPlan 3.5.

In this time of graphically intense PC games, what is it about VGAP that has people still playing a game that is over 13 years old?

VGAP fits the time frame for the busy older gamer. It is all strategy and it drives peoples egos to basically be able to outwit and outsmart a person and not really have winning or losing be decided by some random thing in the game. I also think people like the fiction/fantasy of being their favorite Science Fiction race.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients that a game of this type should have?

You have to provide replay ability and allow for the person to have and enjoy the fiction of being their favorite Science Fiction race

How has the internet affected the expansion of your add-on’s internationally?

We sold the add-ons in at least 12 countries that I can remember. I had sales of add-ons in Russia, Australia and many other countries all over the world.

How has the fan base hindered or helped your projects as you've worked on them?

The fans were always great offering ideas, tweaks and helping to get rid of the bugs that we had early on. The add-on's have been stable and bug free (as far as we can tell) for over 6 years.

When planning your add-on’s, how do you go through the process of integrating themes and story with the constraints of the software?

We didn’t really worry about constraints when we were designing. We just sat and thought about the things that we liked in Science Fiction and the shows we liked to watch and laid out what we wanted to add. Then Dan started coding and we crammed as much into the add-ons as we could.

If you could make any computer game that you wanted, which would it be and why?

Dan and Ralph and I have been working on a new PBEM game that we would like to implement and provide to the VGAP community. We have all be interfered with by life and it conspiring to keep us from finishing this project but we still are working at it and hope that maybe someday it will come to the VGAP universe and the fans can see what they think of Ground Forces.

What’s the status of your add-on development and do you intend to continue to develop them for Planets v4.0 in the future?

There is no plan to integrate add-ons for VGAP4 we gave tim permission to use and add anything of ours that he wanted to VGAP 4.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to move some day into writing scripts and maybe a pilot or two for television and movies. Hopefully I will be a dad someday and get my kids interested in computers and computer games. I would like to think that Dan and I could get Ground Forces to see the light of day and become popular enough that maybe a big game house would buy the rights and convert it to a RTS.

Any last words to the Plants fan base?

Live long and prosper! Also keep blasting the crap out of the VGAP enemies – there is no greater fun than beating the snot out of your enemy.

Dave, Thanks for taking the time to talk with us.

 

 
 
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